"Sit down before fact like a little child, and be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses Nature leads, or you shall learn nothing."
--Thomas Henry Huxley
"People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubborn, persistent illusion."
"The details of making the wormhole into a time tunnel have now been worked out. All you need to do is move one end of the wormhole at high speed (close to the speed of light) or place it in a strong gravitational field. Either will do the trick. Once this is done, you could go in one end and come out the other at an earlier time. Or you could go in the other end, go through it in the opposite direction, and come out in the future."
MIDDLE PILLAR EXERCISE:
The Torus/Twistor Model
by Philo Stone, c1981
(Richard and Iona Miller)
"The old way of picturing energy lived on in the alchemistic tradition in the idea of Mercurius as a "hidden fire" or fiery life-breath or a kind of life-spirit inherent in all things...This fire-spirit imagines everything in nature; he is a creation spirit who contains in himself "the image of all creatures." In the alchemical opus he must be liberated from his imprisonment in matter and then he begins to rotate in himself, vortex-fashion; at the same time he reveals himself as an immortal componenet of the alchemist's psyche. By way of the different stages of the so-called phlogiston theory this archetypal image gradually developed into the energy concept of modern physics. There is therefore no concept fundamental to modern physics that is not in one degree or another a differentiated form of some primordial archetypal idea."
M. L. von Franz
Projection and Recollection in Jungian Psychology
I. Psychological Model
II. Physics Model
III. Magickal Model
A primary purpose of Middle Pillar Exercise is to orient oneself with the Universe. It promotes equilibration and renewal. Repeated practice of Middle Pillar Exercise is fundamental for any Magickal development.
It is valuable to contemporize or update our world-view on "the way things are." There are many forms of re-visioning, "seeing it differently." These viewpoints are biaed subconsciously by thought-altering processes of the archetypes or Gods. They are also consciously biased depending on the conceptual models or paradigms embraced.
Paradigms, in science, are thought-models. They direct their holders to pose only certain questions; to utilize only certain methods of (re)search for answers. The specific paradigmatic lenses we choose to form our conceptualization of reality actually function to shape that reality, which we hope to capture and understand. By emphasizing specific relationships, or states of consciousness, these viewpoints condition the nature of the "reality" we experience.
In Ego at the Threhold, Edward Sampson elaborated on this concept and further states:
"The holder of this paradigm can create the very reality that his paradigm leads him to expect, albeit without conscious intent on his part or on the part of those persons with whom he interacts...Insofar as existing paradigms stress the routinized and mechanical side of life, the liberating alternative lies fallow. A model for human freedom, then, is a prime requisite to its realization."
This paper proposes a re-visioned Middle Pillar Exercise. This revisioning includes current trends in Psychology and Physics to contemporize Magickal metaphors.
I. Psychological Model
The banishing Ritual and Middle Pillar are particularly effective because they are a dramatization of the Creation Myth. In his book, The Sacred and the Profane, Mircea Eliade states,
"The creation of the world becomes the archetype of every human gesture, whatever its plane of reference may be. Every construction or fabrication has the cosmogony as paradigmatic model."
Techniques of orientation, (aligning oneself to the directions), are designed for the construction of sacred space. The more closely a ritual reproduces the work of the gods in creation, the more effective it is in producing desired psychological results.
The model for the creation of sacred space beegins from a center and projects horizons in the four cardinal directions. This model has been followed throughout history when settling new territory or in the founding of cities. We always reside at the metaphorical center of "our world."
This quadrated circle sets up the conditions necessary for us to enter into sacred time. We may contact the gods through the medium of the sacred pole or cosmic pillar. Eliade notes,
"Sacred time appears under the paradoxical aspect of circular time, reversible and recoverable, a sort of mythical eternal present that is periodically reintegrated by means of rites."
When we enter this space, we experience the feeling of immortality, since we are in a time which is symbolically equivalent to "the eginning." The principle characteristics of sacred space are,
- A break in the homogeneity of space;
- This break is symbolized by an opening where passage from one cosmic region to another is facilitated, (i.e. between heaven and earth; earth and the underworld);
- Communication with heaven is expressed by variants of the Cosmic Pillar, which stands at the Center of the World.
Thus, Middle Pillar is a useful symbol for what is termed the Ego-Self axis. The Ego-Self Axis is built up through various psychological exercises. It forms the link between ego-consciousness an the Self. This represents both the conscious and subconscious mind working together in harmony. It is known in Magick as Knowledge and Conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel.
The Banishing and Middle PIllar exercises conform precisely to the creation myth. Since a myth is a paradigmatic model, one can see it is a very effective exercise. It establishes one's relationship to the cosmos and one's conscius relationship to totality. Eliade has said:
"What men do on their own initiative, without a mythical model, belongs to the sphere of the profane; hence, it is a vain and illusory activity, in the last analysis, unreal. The more religious a man is, the more paradigmatic models he possesses to guide his attitudes and actions."
The importance of persistent practice of Middle Pillar technique, throughout the Magickal career, is not to be underestimated. Israel Regardie is quite firm on this point.
"To my mind, the exercise described as the Middle Pillar is the groundwork of all actual developmental work. It is a process which is the basis of Magic. That this has been but seldom realised is obviously at the root of the futile attempts to do Ceremonial and perform Ritual, of which the general public hears every now and again. Even students of Magic of many years standing have been guilty of negligence in this respect, and also in failing to recommend it to their successors."
Timelessness will appear as a multiple recurrence, (chronicity). The archetypal order will make these appearances regular, both in time (wave frequency), and magnitude (wave amplitude). This can be correctly seen now as a true wave phenomena or vibration (with specific periodicity and intensity). Thus, a relationship is available between timelessness and forms of electromagnetic, or EM fields.
If such vibration phenomena have the same frequency as others somewhere else, harmonics occur and a state of resonance results.
Insight as a physically traceable fact could be described as a collective response of an elementary system in cortical cells in one or another region of the brain. This can be conceived as occuring not through the transmission of sodium and potassium ions between neurons, but rather as a reonance phenoemenon. This EM field resonance is a result of the statistical movement of charged particles in a lattice matrix.
Middle Pillar Exercise, visualized as an electromagnetic field about the body, sets the paradigm. This paradigm allows a resonance effect in the human realm between microcosmic and macrocosmic field interactions.
Middle Pillar Exercise works as a healer of the mind, soul, and body split. This split is present in most of us as a result of our culturally programmed Cartesian duality. During Middle Pillar Exercise, the conscious will works in harmony with the sub- and superconscious, via visualizations and vibration of god-names. This activity stimulates various endocrine glands and hormones which regulate body function. Psychology and chemistry are not unrelated.
II. PHYSICS MODEL
Certain aspects of Middle Pillar are based on vortex modeling. The human being is not just solid matter and can be viewed as a fluid wave-pattern. We are wave fronts in space. This concept is correct from a physics point of view. The human body consists mostly of fluids, even on a molecular level. From this perspective, some investigation of fluid mechanics is interesting.
A vortex is the only way in which a fluid may move through itself.
Physics regards mathematical forms, (not "things"), as the smallest building blocks of matter. The most recently discovered subatomic, vortex-shaped form is called a twistor. Twistor modelling is a new concept on the nature of matter as it relates to space, developed by Roger Penrose.
Twistors can be visualized in the physical plane as 20 orders of magnitude smaller than a nuclear particle. They are only mathematical concepts, howevver, which are massless.
Twistor modeling could provide an analogy from Physics for the microcosmic Middle Pillar visualization. The Torus model of the Universe, proposed by Arthur Young, could provide a macrocosmic paradigm for experiencing higher mystical states.
A twistor is the smallest discovered form of a torus. A torus is a donut-shaped form plus its surrounding fields.
Each twistor is shaped like a donut or piece of rope. It twists just once as it circles a central axis. The less energy it has, the greater its size. It travels at the speed of light in the direction of its axis.
[insert graphic when scanned]
[Figure 1]: A graphic representation of the mathematical entity known as a twistor. The large arrow is the light cone direction or vector in its relationship to time and space. The small arrows show the pattern of circulation of the fluid through itself.
Middle Pillar Exercise visualized with a Torus/Twistor model is a graphic analogy of man's "middle position" between the macro and microcosm. The coiled donut of the twistor might be envisioned analogous to the belt of the Zodiac surrounding the Anthropos, or Archetypal Man, as depicted by the alchemists.
[insert graphic when scanned]
[Figure 2]: The Torus/Twistor Model for re-visioning Middle Pillar Exercise. The large arrow is the light cone; the smaller arrows give the pattern of circulation of a fluid moving through itself. The centers should be pictured within the body, as usual. Also, colors for the 'circulation of the light' remain traditional, and can easily be super-imposed onto this figure.
A good anchor point for a cosmological viewpoint, begins with the formula for the volume of the Einstein-Eddington Universe. Physicists call this boundary region the hypersphere, whose volume is also the formula for the volume of a torus with an infinitely small hole (Hadit).
In a toroidal universe, a part can be seemingly separate and yet simply connected to any other part. This provides a paradox that permits us to see the individual in relationship to totality. The core of the torus, with its infinitely small hole, could represent inner consciousness.
Arthur Young's modeling suggests a relationship between the ability to exercise free will and the uncertainty principle. Young's formula for the cycle of action or learning, which leads to consciousness, indicates that the distance from spontaneous action to conscious control is 3/4 of 360 degrees. The common sense view of the universe is to consider it shaped like a sphere extending infintely in all directions. However, if we multiply the formula for the volume of a sphere by Young's formula for the cycle leading to consciousness, we obtain the formula for the volume of a torus with an infinitely small hole. Torus topology shows how a part is seemingly separate and yet connected with the whole repeatedly.
Professor John Archibald Wheeler, in Geometrodynamics, states that mass is an illusion of pure curvature. He further states that charge is an illusion, an illusion of chargeless electric lines trapped in the multiply-connected topology of three-dimensional space. In this model, an elementary particle is conceived of as a mini-black hole.
A black hole model usses the torus structure for the collapse of light in an extreme field of gravitation. Space-time collapses to a singularity inside the event horizon. The boundary between the mini-black hole, where the light-cone cannot reach infinity, and light-cones which can reach infinity is called an 'event horizon.' The light cone is a vector in the collapsing geometry of space-time.
The curvature of space is found to be infinite at the singularity. This yields a breakdown in the idea of space and time, going to a paradigm of pregeometry.
A singularity hidden by an event horizon is called a mini-black hole. There is no real mass involved. Real mass is only an illusion of the statistical level of large numbers of these mini-black holes. Penrose's twistor is a mathematical description of Wheeler's mini-black hole.
The universe can be seen as a cosmic computer in the pregeometric level of information. Space and time appear as secondary statistical constructs. The pregeometry can be identified with the collective consciousness, of which we are largely unconscious except in enlightenment states.
Physical reality is not subject to the principle of local causation. It can not objectively exist independent of the observer who participates in its creation. A twistor is the smallest discovered building block for matter. Its mathematical similarity to the boundary of the hypersphere shows a resonance between the microcosm and the macrocosm. It is thus a potential metaphorical tool for harmonizing oneself with both. We can use it as a symbol and psychotronic device.
III. MAGICKAL MODEL
Magick is practiced fundamentally for the creation of the mystical or immortal body. This body is also known as the Diamond Body or Philosopher's Stone. It is independent of space and time. It can be seen as a magickal mode of transportation for consciousness.
We may speculate on minimizing the size of our mystical bodies, moving consciousness into another dimension, via the energy flows of singularities. Conceptually, it is a useful model to picture the vehicles of consciousness becoming smaller as we rise on the Planes. If you picture your carrier of consciousness synonymous with the smallest available models, you are no longer limited by the mechanistic laws of the universe. You are now in the domain of quantum mechanics.
In the twistor model for consciousness, we imagine Nuit as the underlying field and matter, and Hadit as the carrier wave or singularity.
This model is a metaphorical description for crossing the Abyss and arriving in a Kether-like state. Since twistors are mathematical entities which contain no mass, they are not subject to the laws of statistical Physics. Light, (or consciusness), in this mode, travels through the singularity to another dimension.
Daath, the Invisible Sephiroth, may be visualized as the twistor. The opposite side of a black hole is assumed to be a White Hole or Kether-like creation state. We might refer to this psychic state as In-nova-tion. It is a model for leaving the "causal" worldview and moving into quantum states of greater possibilities.
This model leads to the analogy that II. High Priestess Path is a symbolic singularity. This is appropriate since gimel means a camel, and symbolizes transportation across the trackless wastes.
These concepts are rooted in archetypal ideas, and may be shown with a quote from M.L. von Franz in Number and Time.
"...at the conclusion of the alchemical work, there arises a rotating, eternal structure, the 'one nature'...the prima materia is in Komarios' view, a rotating heavenly order come down into matter 'which God not man, has transferred there.' " The Opus follows a cyclic course. It wanders through the four elements until they come together in a pearl, merging in the center between opposites. Then nature conquers nature and is completed and becomes vortex-shaped (Zosimos' idea). This whirlwind in matter moves analogously to the course of the stars in the firmamant, but it also represents the mystery of the soul and is a substance described as a murderous poison and revivifying pharmakon. It is thus an all-ermeating world-spirit which gathers the cosmos and its contents into unity. When the alchemist's soul unites with the divine spirit there is a genuine transformation via meditation."
Circular movement of the four elements forms a parallel to the same motion common to soul, logos, and cosmos. Via circulation, "spiritual earth" or the mystical body is formed; the opposites of spirit and matter are reconciled. In Middle Pillar, we orient ourselves with the four directions of the compass. The body is aligned with the Coreolis force which moves our cell salts.
Physicist Penrose has created a conceptually new way of looking at the universe. Although his theory is considered speculative or avante-garde, it has psychological and magickal validity as a visualization. The argument for its adaptation has been made.
Twistor theory uses complex numbers for expression. Complex numbers are composed of real and imaginary parts. The behavior of one part is influenced by the other part and vice versa. If the two separate types of numbers are to be properly combined to make complex numbers, they must be interwoven like the warp and woof of finished cloth.
Once this bolt of complex number "cloth" is woven, it can be "crumpled" but the interwoven nature of the real and imaginary parts prevent the possibility of tangled snarls. This loom analogy describes the orderly quality of the cmplex number and the logical manner in which it behaves. The addition of the imaginary part to the real number brings the real number out of the realm of potential and into the real world of manifestation.
Twistor theory goes beyond the use of the orderly, complex numbers to describe the universe. Twistor theory attempts to take into account empty space. A long-term aim of twistor theory is to eliminate the physical theory of a continuum, or "smooth" empty space. Nuit now can be properly visualized as a complex matrix of underlying twistor space. It is not empty; it is The Void. [1999 update. Penrose's theory had gained wide acceptance and is the basis for modeling the vacuum potential, and virtual entities in scalar physics].
A twistor space universe is described by four complex numbers, giving a total of eight parts to describe this view of reality. These include the 3 dimensions of position in space, two angular directions of motion through space-time, and the energy, spin, and polarization of that motion.
In this view, the fundamental building blocks of this universe are twistors. They are not particles; they lie between the concepts of particle and point. Mathematically, a twistor is closer to being the square root of a particle. Yet, theoretically, it is more analogous to the concept of the undivided point. This is a contemporary model for Hadit.
Real number behavior is conteolled by the hidden complex structure of twistor space. Not only can particles be constructed out of twistors, but even the points in space-time themselves. A point in space-time is generated by the collection of twistors representing all possible light paths through that space-time point.
What is intriguing about the 8-dimensional twistor space is that, by the orderly nature of complex numbers, only one kind of space-time is permitted to exist. That is the four-dimensional space-time of our perceived world.
With the basic assumption that man has the ability to create and inhabit a mystical or immortal body, twistor modeling is a paradigm for increasing degrees of free will. Since the twistor mathematically travels at the speed of light, in the direction of its axis, relativity laws are invoked and time dilates. Herein lies the metaphorical possibility of Immortality.
Click here for Twistor Web, and more recent reports about Twistor Theory as an attempt to synthesize quantum theory and relativity in a vector space of 4 dimensions.
THE SELF-AWARE UNIVERSE
by Iona Miller, 1993
Summary: Amit Goswami, PhD has proposed a theory of consciousness, rather than atoms, as the fundamental reality o the material world. Based in the philosophy of monistic idealism, he claims to obtain a consistent paradox-free interpretation of the new physics. He suggests a quantum mechanical, as well as classical nature for mind, which accounts for nonlocal psychic phenomena.
That Darn Cat
Philosophy of Choice
Virtual Domains or Formless Potential
The Quantum Brain
Ego and the Quantum Self
Ah-Ha! The Creative Experience
In searching for the fundamental basis of physical reality and the nature of the mind, Goswami (1993) has defined consciousness as "the agency that affects quantum objects to make their behavior sensible." In choosing this criterion he hopes to show how mind can effect matter nonenergetically because they share the same essence.
By making the leap from a universe based on bits of matter, to one based in consciousness, he hopes to logically and coherently resolve some of the major paradoxes of physics. He suggests that instead of everything being made of atoms, everything is made of consciousness. If quantum objects are waves that spread in existence at more than one place, as QM has shown, then consciousness may be the agency that focuses the waves so we can observe them at one place.
Goswami labels this philosophy, "monistic as opposed to dualistic, and it is idealism because ideas (not to be confused with ideals) and the consciousness of them are considered to be the basic elements of reality; matter is considered to be secondary." Mental phenomena such as self-consciousness, free will, creativity, and ESP are explained anew in this reformulation of the mind-body in a fresh context.
As in both the mystical view and holographic universe (such as that described by Bohm), there is only the dynamic play of one great webwork of existence (Bohm's holomovement). This unified movement, a dance of creation and annihilation, has intentionality. However, Goswami does not propose that consciousness is mind; they are different concepts.
In monistic idealism, the consciousness of the subject in a subject-object experience is the same consciousness that is the ground of all being. Therefore, consciousness is unitive. The domain of potentia also exists in consciousness. Nothing is outside consciousness.
Buddha tells us that, "There is an Unborn, Unoriginated, Uncreated, Unformed. If there were not this Unborn, this Unoriginated, this Uncreated, this Unformed, escape from the world of the born, the originated, the created, the formed would not be possible." But there is this essential ground, and it is possible to "escape" spacetime, according to Buddha.
If the brain-mind is itself an object in a nonlocal consciousness that encompasses all reality, then what we call objective empirical reality is within this consciousness. The one becomes many through self-reference, fragmentation into tangled hierarchies of self-iterating information.
The trick is to distinguish between consciousness and awareness. In processes of which we are aware classical models prevail. When we consciously see, consciousness collapses the quantum state of the brain-mind. Unconscious processing does not effect collapse of the quantum wave-function, pinning down quantum entities to one reality. Thus, unconscious processing permits the expression of nonlocal phenomena.
The situation in the brain-mind, with consciousness collapsing the wave function may only happen when awareness is present. There is a tangled hierarchy within the immanent self-reference of a system observing itself. An operation by a self-referential system is where the von Neumann chain stops.
THAT DARN CAT
Erwin Schrodinger reminded us that, "Observations are to be regarded as discrete, discontinuous events. Between there are gaps which we cannot fill in." He illustrated his famous metaphor of the uncertainty principle with the conundrum of Schrodinger's Cat. All physics students eventually get tired of hearing about this stupid cat, over and over, pondering whether it will be alive or dead. Goswami has tried to "put it to bed," with his "nine lives of..." version:
In the first life, the cat is treated statistically, as part of an ensemble. The cat is offended (because its singularity is denied in this ensemble interpretation) but not wounded.
In the second life, the cat is viewed as an example of the quantum/classical dichotomy by the divisive philosophers of macrorealism. The cat refuses to trade its life/death dichotomy for another dichotomy.
In the third life, the cat is confronted with irreversibility and randomness, but the cat says, Prove it.
In the fourth life, the cat confronts the hidden variables and what happens is still hidden.
In the fifth life, the neo-Copenhagenists try to do away with the cat using the philosophy of logical positivism. By most judgements, the cat escapes unscathed.
In the sixth life, the cat encounters many worlds. Who knows, it may have perished in some universe, but as far as we can tell, not in this one.
In the seventh life, the cat meets Bohr and his complementarity, but the question What constitutes a measurement? saves it.
In the eighth life, the cat meets consciousness (of a dualistic vintage)face-to-face, but Wigner's friend saves it.
Finally, in the ninth life, the cat finds salvation in the idealist interpretation.
Only three of these models are not flawed: the many-world theory, the theory of nonlocal hidden variables, and that of monistic idealism.
PHILOSOPHY OF CHOICE
The idealist resolution of the paradox of the cat's existence demands that the consciousness of the observing subject choose one facet from the multifaceted dead-and-alive coherent superposition of the cat and thus seal its fate. The subject is the chooser, and choice is fundamental to existence: "I choose, therefore I am."
Free choice means the possibility of jumping out of an old context into a new one at a higher level. The capacity for choice, even recognizing choice, makes us conscious of the experiences we choose. From the myriad alternative possibilities, we recognize the course of our becoming, and define our self. The primary question of self-consciousness is to choose or not to choose.
More accurate than the old notion of the unconscious is that our conscious self is unconscious of most things most of the time and of everything in dreamless sleep. Paradoxically, the unconscious is holistically, nonlocally conscious of all things all of the time. It never sleeps. OUR CONSCIOUS SELF IS UNCONSCIOUS OF OUR UNCONSCIOUS, AND THE UNCONSCIOUS IS ACTUALLY MORE CONSCIOUS than normal awareness.
Unconscious thoughts and feelings affect our conscious thoughts. During unconscious perception, an unconscious feeling can produce an unexplainable conscious feeling. According to Goswami, choice is a concomitant of conscious experience, but not of unconscious perception. Our subject-consciousness arises when there is a choice made. When we do not choose, we do not own up to our perceptions.
Before choice, the state of the brain-mind is an ambiguous state--like that of Schrodinger's cat. In quantum theory, the subject that chooses is a single, universal subject, not our personal ego "I." Thus, this universal choosing consciousness is also nonlocal.
Even if you introduce hidden variables to find a causal interpretation of QM, as David Bohm does, those hidden variables have to be nonlocal. In Bohm's theory, the light that projects the image of reality is not the light of creative consciousness, but causal hidden variables--which current research suggests may be deterministically chaotic, rather than probabilistic.
According to the idealist interpretation, violation to the EPR Paradox signifies nonlocal correlation between photons. Hidden variables are not needed as an explanation. Of course, to collapse the wave function of nonlocally correlated photons, consciousness must act nonlocally.
Therefore, simultaneously occurring events in our space-time world can be related meaningfully to a common cause that resides in a nonlocal realm outside space and time. This common cause is the act of nonlocal collapse by consciousness. Thus it is not a message transfer (from a sender through a channel to a receiver) but a communication in consciousness. This has important repercussions for information theory, based in causality.
Nonlocal consciousness might seem like a "hidden variable", but it doesn't constitute causal parameters. It is simply us! Nonlocal consciousness operates not with causal continuity, but with non-linear creative discontinuity from moment to moment, event to event.
This discontinuity, the quantum jump out of the system, is the essential component of creativity needed for consciousness to see itself, as in self-reference. It means we can exercise the freedom to be open to a new context.
VIRTUAL DOMAINS OR FORMLESS POTENTIAL
Accrding to the idealist interpretation, coherent superpositions exist in a transcendent domain as formless archetypes of matter. Suppose that the parallel universes of the many-worlds theory are not material but archetypal in content--universes of the mind. Then, each observation makes a causal pathway in the fabric of possibilities in the transcendent domain of reality. Once the choice is made, all except one of the pathways are excluded from the world of manifestation.
Goswami proposes that, "the universe exists as formless potentia in myriad possible branches in the transcendent domain and becomes manifest only when observed by conscious beings." These self-referential observations plot the universe's causal history, rejecting the myriad parallel alternatives that never manifest.
The universe bifurcates in every event in the transcendent domain, becoming many branches, until in one of the branches there is a sentient being that can look with awareness and complete a quantum measurement, according to Goswami. The causal pathway leading to that sentient being collapses into space-time reality.
Meaning arises in the universe when sentient beings observe it, choosing causal pathways from among the myriad transcendent possibilities. This anthropocentric view is also reflected in cosmology as the Anthropic Principle, where the cosmos is created for our sake. Amazingly, this is apparently compatible with quantum physics.
THE QUANTUM BRAIN
The conviction has been growing among many physicists that the brain is an interactive system with a quantum mechanical macrostructure as an important complement to the classical neuronal assembly.
The classical and quantum components of the brain-mind interact within a basic idealist framework in which consciousness is primary. The classical/quantum distinction is purely functional. Its essence is one. Experienced mental states arise from the interaction of both classical and quantum states.
The quantum component of the brain-mind is regenerative and its states are multifaceted. It is the vehicle for conscious choice and for creativity. In contrast, because it has a long regeneration time, the classical component of brain-mind can form memory and thus can act as a reference point for experience.
The archetypal component of the thought is revealed by its inherent uncertainty: If we concentrate on the content of thought, we lose sight of the direction in which the thought is heading. If we concentrate on the direction of a thought, we lose sharpness in its content. Its features (instantaneous content) equate with the position of physical objects; association (movement of thought in awareness) is like momentum in objects.
Between manifestations thought exists as transcendent archetypes--as does the quantum object with its transcendent coherent superposition (wave) and manifest one-faceted (particle) aspects.
Research shows spatial coherence of brain waves during meditation proportional to the degree of pure awareness that the meditator reports. Studies of remote viewing, mutual hypnosis, and group meditation have shown coherence of brain waves of participants sharing consciousness states.
As in therapeutic rapport or co-consciousness, "two subjects interact for a period until they feel that a direct (nonlocal) connection has been established. The subjects then maintain their direct contact from within individual Faraday cages at a distance. When the brain of one of the subjects responds to an external stimulus with an evoked potential, the other subject's brain shows a transfer potential similar in form and strength to the evoked potential."
Before the supervention of consciousness, the brain-mind exists as formless potentia (like any other object) in the transcendent domain of consciousness. When nonlocal consciousness collapses the brain-mind's wave function, it does so by choice and recognition, not by any energetic process. Thus, "conservation of energy" is not violated in the mind/matter interface.
Goswami postulates the need for an EPR-correlated quantum network, stating "It has to be there." Perhaps this is Buckminster Fuller's vector equilibrium matrix, and Thomas Beardon's zero vector summation, which describe how matter "jitterbugs" into and out of existence in quantum "creationism."
According to this idealist interpretation, consciousness chooses the results of a single quantum measurement--that is, nonlocal unitive consciousness. The intervention of the nonlocal consciousness collapses the probability cloud of a quantum system.
In the manifest world, the selection process involved in the collapse appears to be random, while in the transcendent realm the selection process is seen as choice. Our consciousness chooses the outcome of the collapse of the quantum state of our brain-mind. Since this outcome is a conscious experience, we choose our conscious experiences--yet remain unconscious of the underlying process.
It is this unconsciousness that leads to the illusory separateness--the identity with the separate "I" of self-reference (rather than the "we" of unitive consciousness). The illusory separateness takes place in two stages, but the basic mechanism involved is called tangled hierarchy, which is a way of achieving self-reference. The self arises because of a veil of discontinuity, an infinite oscillation. Out of discontinuity comes the veil and self-reference. Mystics call it the Veil of Isis or The Abyss.
The self of our self-reference is due to a tangled hierarchy, but our consciousness is the consciousness of the Being that is beyond the subject-object split. There is no other source of consciousness in the universe. The self of self-reference and the consciousness of the original consciousness, together, make what we call self-consciousness.
EGO AND THE QUANTUM SELF
Before collapse, the subject is not differentiated from the archetypes of objects of experience--physical or mental. Collapse brings about the subject-object division, and that leads to the primary awareness of I-am-ness called the "quantum self." Awareness of the quantum self also brings about collapse.
In Goswami's conceptualization, "the brain-mind is a dual quantum system/ measuring apparatus," through which the universe becomes self-aware. The universe cuts itself in two--subject/object--terminating the von Neumann chain. We resolve the von Neumann chain by recognizing that consciousness collapses the wave function by acting self-referentially, not dualistically.
The old mechanistic concept was nonregenerative. Repeated measurement interaction leads to a fundamental change in the brain-mind's quantum system. Each previously experienced, learned response reinforces the probability of the same response over again. Learning (or prior experience) biases the brain-mind.
Before the response to a particular stimulus becomes conditioned, the probability pool from which consciousness chooses our response spans the mental states common to all people at all places at all time.
In conditioned behavior, the dual quantum system/measuring apparatus becomes virtually classical. In the limit of a new experience, the brain mind's response is creative. Experiences such as near-death can instantly release much repressed unconscious conditioning, as does therapeutic ego death. The psycho-social contexts of living are no longer absolute to the truly fluid identity.
When the creative potency of the quantum component is not engaged, the tangled hierarchy of the interacting components of the brain-mind, in effect, becomes a simple hierarchy of the learned, classical programs. The ego is an emergent property of our classical self. The quantum mode is equivalent to the "still point" within.
Thus, ego emerges out of the introspective interaction of our learned programs that result from our experience in the world, but there is a twist. The separate self has no free will apart from that of the quantum self, and ultimately, that of the unitive consciousness. Consciousness always leaves some room for unconditioned novelty, making possible what we know as free will.
This process can be viewed from a "top-down" epistemology or from a bottom-up theory that subject-object consciousness arises as "order within chaos."
How or why does consciousness split itself? The states of the brain-mind are considered to be quantum states, which are probability-weighted, multifaceted, possibility structures. Consciousness collapses the multifaceted structure (a coherent superposition) choosing one facet but only in the presence of brain-mind awareness, the mind-field in which objects of experience arise).
Which comes first: awareness or choice? This is a tangled hierarchy which gives rise to self-reference, and subject/object split. Secondary-awareness processes lead to intentionality--the tendency to identify with an object.
The "I" of reflective awareness also arises out of these secondary-awareness processes. Primary and secondary processes normally remain preconscious, obscuring the tangled hierarchy of the primary process. At this primary-process level there is no conditioning which means unrestricted freedom of choice.
Benjamin Libet has shown that even before a person experiences awareness of their actions (which is necessary to free will), there is an evoked potential that signals an objective observer that the person is going to will to raise his or her arm. Interestingly, as we all know, we retain our free will to say no to raising an arm, even after the evoked potential signals otherwise.
AH-HA! THE CREATIVE EXPERIENCE
In psychological terms, nature refers to unconscious instincts that drive us--libido; nurture refers to environmental conditioning, much of which is also unconscious. A third leg is creativity, which in this context is a drive from the collective unconscious.
Creativity is the creation of something new in an entirely new context. Newness of the context is the key. We have access to the vast archetypal content of the quantum states of mind (the pure mental states) that extend far beyond the local experiences within our lifetime. Creativity is fundamentally a nonlocal mode of cognition.
The creative act is the fruit of the encounter of the self's classical and quantum modalities, according to Goswami. There are stages in its development, but they are all tangled-hierarchical encounters of these two modalities; the hierarchy is a tangled one because the quantum modality remains preconscious in us.
The classical modality of the self, like the classical computer, deals with information, but the self's quantum modality deals with communication. Thus the first stage of the play of creativity is the tangled play of information (development of expertise) and communication (development of openness). It is tangled because you cannot tell when information ends and communication begins; there is a discontinuity in the "cosmic message."
Here the ego acts as the research assistant of the quantum modality--and it takes a strong ego (or fluid ego) to handle the destructuring of the old that makes room for the new.
In the second stage of creative illumination, the encounter is between the perspiration of the classical modality and the inspiration of the quantum modality. When the brain's quantum state develops as a pool of potentialities in response to a situation of creative confrontation, the pool includes not only conditioned states but also new, never-before-manifested states of possibility.
Since our personal pool is statistically weighted by our memories we can minimize the mind's conditioning by keeping an open mind to reduce the probability of (unconscious) conditioned responses, as in creativity. We can increase the odds of manifesting a low-probability creative idea by being persistent. Persistence increases the number of collapses of the mind's quantum state relative to the same question, increasing the chance to realize a new potential.
Creativity is enhanced if we confront ourselves with unlearned stimuli. Unlearned stimuli that seem ambiguous--as in a surrealistic painting--are especially useful for opening our minds to new contexts. Since conscious observation collapses the coherent superposition, there is a certain advantage in unconscious processing. Uncollapsed coherent superpositions can act upon others, creating many more possibilities for the eventual collapse.
The classical modality performs an equally essential function: It ensures the persistence of the will (the perspiration). Hence, the traditional importance in Magick of subordinating the personal will to True Will. The creative individual's ego has to be strong-willed to be persistent and has to be able to handle the anxiety associated with unknowing--the quantum jump into the new.
A creative experience is one of the few times when we directly experience the quantum modality with little or no time lag. It is this encounter with primary process experience that produces the elation, the ah-ha, the creative act of self-realization. It can lead directly to personal transformation of one's own context of living.
In outer creativity, quantum jumps enable us to view an external problem in a new context. In inner creativity, the quantum jump allows us to break from established patterns of behavior, which together make up what is known as character. Inner creativity means transpersonal experience, the uncertainty of being beyond the ego, which tends toward death-like stasis.
So, for inner creativity, one develops and practices awareness of one's conditioning, becoming aware of inner-growth potential. Transformation is an ongoing process, always defining an ever-more-compassionate context for our being. Recognition begins the shift of identity to the quantum-atman, comprehending a new self-identity.
Creative quandaries, like the Zen koan, intensify a double-bind which dissolves the ego and facilitates a third state of unbiased emptiness, wherein the probability pool of choice is extended to the creative dimension. The quantum wave of our mind expands and is ready to embrace new responses.
There is, however, no self-nature, no independent existence, in either subject or object: Only consciousness is reality, but how do we comprehend it? What is before collapse? The tangled hierarchy--the infinite chaotic oscillation of yes-no answers. The joy of meditative experiences is the original joy of consciousness in its pure form.
Goswami, Amit and Richard E. Reed, Maggie Goswami; THE SELF-AWARE UNIVERSE: HOW CONSCIOUSNESS CREATES THE MATERIAL WORLD; Jeremy Tarcher/Putnam Books, New York, 1993.
NEXT: PANTHEON, ARCHETYPAL GODFORMS IN DAILY LIFE
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